Re: Reiser4 Inclusion

From: Grzegorz Kulewski
Date: Mon Jul 17 2006 - 07:47:09 EST

Hi Arjan,

On Mon, 17 Jul 2006, Arjan van de Ven wrote:
On Sun, 2006-07-16 at 20:02 -0700, Caleb Gray wrote:
Dear Linux Kernel Developers,

I would like to express my experiences with the reiser4 filesystem and
my reasons for its readiness to be officially included in the Linux kernel.


may I ask why you are sending this? Have you done code audits to the
code? Have you done anything that was on the "these need fixing before
it can go in" list?

Well, as I understand he is end user (an advanced one). He does his job as a end user: he does testing and reports back the results. This is not that common, as many users do not report problems / requests they have.

He even did more: he tested (very hard and extensively) experimental, not even in the tree part of the kernel. And he reported problems / ideas he found in a very kind and gentle way. This is not so common and makes him a valuable person in the users comunity in my opinion.

As I understand you, as a developer, should say "thank you" to him and make everything you can to solve the problems he has and help implement the parts of the software he needs. No?

That way you build comunity of users that not only are using the software but also are giving back in form of bug reports, feature requests, continuous testing on variety of setups (that no developer ever can have all), reviews, ideas, telling others about what a great software with friendly comunity they found and so on.

For me (I am active end user of most open source projects and developer on others) the comunity and good contacs between developers and end users is the most important part of the software. It gives me security. Even if the software is not yet stable it can be fixed by cooperation between users and developers. While people are really way harder to fix than software.

And he as a end user does not have to (and probably does not even have enough knowledge about the kernel internals) make code audits and review of new filesystem. So why are you demanding that he does one?

If not, aren't you just doing campaigning on
non-technical grounds? And isn't that a bad idea?

Well, his kind message was not very technical. But wasn't completly non technical or flamewar either. He tested software, compared and reported what he saw. He also expressed wish (that many users have) that Reiser4,
as a usefull and even useable in some production evironments, should be integrated into the kernel. Because there are users for it.

Arjan van de Ven -- who is starting to smell a directed PR campaign
leading to allergic reactions

Come on. Another conspiracy theory? Why some people just can't understand that Reiser4 is not that bad (from end user's point of view)? Some people tested it and found it good and want to have it integrated ASAP. Some even can't live without it after they used it for a while and saw how good it is in something...

I can assure you that it really is not some directed centrally controlled campaign. This is just what many users want.

I too tested Reiser4 some time ago. It didn't have any big problems for me. But I am not using (or testing) it now. Why? Mainly because of security: if Reiser4 is not merged (even as a experminental, subject to change, unstable, whatever) it will work with new kernels as long as Namesys will release patches. And if something happens to Namesys I will have to port it to new kernels (and that is usually trivial for kernel developers introducing incompatible internal kernel API changes but not for me) myself or will have to use old kernels. And _that_ is a problem for me.

(Not to mention that I am regulary applying 4-7 patches, some big ones, for every kernel I am building and resolving merge problems in not your code is not easy thing to do and takes time. While I can live without staircase scheduler or vesafb-tng if my manual merge attempt fails I can not do so without my main filesystem. And -mm is a little too unstable for me recently.)

It is unfortunate that Hans Reiser pushed Reiser4 the way he did and that he got the reaction from some kernel developers he did got. But he and his developers did (and are still doing) very hard job to fix problems and make Reiser4 better and more suitable into the kernel. And having Reiser4 out of the kernel is hurting mainly end users. Really.

Arjan, is this really technically impossible to have Reiser4 merged into the kernel after fixing some worst problems that touch mm and VFS (in say 2 months), flagged unofficial-try-merge-for-testing, super-experimental and subject-to-change? I would make live of many end users easier and does not sound that bad for me especially in the 2.6 forever era...

If someone thinks that Reiser4 is too unstable or evil he can set it to N and be happy. And if Reiser4 will be abandoned by Namesys and not fixed further it could be maintained by kernel developers at a minimal level (porting to new kernel internal APIs as they change) for say 6-12 months while flagged for removal and then removed because of unofficial-try-merge-for-testing flag. This at least does give some time to migrate from it for end users (and maybe even time to fix it for some other developers?).

Thanks and sorry for such long post,
wrong as usual,

Grzegorz Kulewski

To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at